FUNFETTI®-Inspired Cake Batter Blondies
I think Funfetti gets its name because it just tastes fun.
And blondies that taste like cake batter are pretty fun, too.
The recent tragedy that’s been all over the news has served as a reminder that no matter how busy my life is, and how many different directions I’m being pulled in, that my almost six-year old daughter is my greatest gift and to savor and appreciate each day I have with her even more, stop and smell more roses, give more hugs, and eat more blondies. I made these for my pink-loving princess and wanted her eyes to light up upon seeing them.
I combined two of my favorite flavors, Funfetti and yellow cake batter, for these sweet and easy blondies, complete with semi-sweet and white chocolate chips, and plenty of sprinkles. Sprinkles put the fun in Funfetti.
Many cake batter-flavored recipes that I read online use cake mix, which isn’t a shocker since cake mix is a logical ingredient in cake batter. However, I wanted to create cake batter-flavored without using a mix, just because I like to complicate things.
The from-scratch batter comes together quicker than if cake mix was used, can be mixed by hand in less than five minutes, and the blondies are ready from start to finish in thirty minutes. So take that, boxed mix.
Make the batter by melting one stick of butter, add brown and granulated sugars, an egg, and a healthy dose of vanilla. There’s a higher ratio of brown to granulated sugar, which keeps the blondies extra moist and they stay moist for days. Brown sugar draws in moisture from the air as time passes, and helps to keep baked goods soft over time. Unlike my other blondie recipes that strictly rely on brown sugar, a bit of granulated is used here to provide more authentic yellow cake flavor.
The secret ingredient that provides that telltale yellow birthday cake meets Funfetti flavor quality comes from the vanilla. If you think I’m going to say I used high-end, expensive, real vanilla extract, you’re wrong. This is a rare situation in baking where imitation vanilla extract, specifically clear, is preferred to real.
I learned from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook that imitation vanilla provides a nostalgic, classic Americana flavor. Taking a whiff of clear imitation vanilla is akin to burying my nose in a box of yellow or Funfetti cake mix crossed with a white grocery-store bakery cake, complete with inch-thick white frosting. I grew up with white sheetcake birthday cakes and clear imitation vanilla brings me right back to 1986, the roller rink, blowing out my birthday candles, and it’s perfect in the blondies.
Clear imitation vanilla is typically sold next to real vanilla extract for a fraction of the cost. Real vanilla extract may of course be used here, but for $2.99 clear imitation is fun to keep around, especially for white cakes or white frosting. It lends a comforting flavor profile and doesn’t impart any twinges of brown in frosting I want to keep bright white. This reminds me of the butter extract discussion.
After adding one tablespoon of vanilla, flour, white and semi-sweet chips, or mix-and-match as desired because there’s no wrong way to do Funfetti, I added a heaping quarter cup of sprinkles to the batter. After pouring the batter into the pan, I sprinkled with an additional tablespoon, mostly for a visual pop of color. Being skimpy with sprinkles is never good.
Bake the blondies just until the top has set, taking care not to overbake. They’re meant to be soft and tender.
They’re moist, dense, and taste like Funfetti birthday-cake cake batter. The vanilla adds a special touch and gives the blondies that luscious cake-batter scent. They remind me of all the beaters coated in cake batter I ever licked.
The chocolate chips and white chocolate chips add just enough chocolate and their presence is nice and noted, but they don’t overpower the more delicate cake batter flavor. And having little bits of sprinkles between my teeth in each bite adds welcome texture to the soft, doughy blondies.
My job was done when I saw the smile on my daughter’s face as she bit into this.
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon clear imitation vanilla extract (real vanilla extract may be used, see note below)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
- ½ heaping cup white chocolate chips
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup rainbow-colored sprinkles, for batter
- 1 tablespoon rainbow-colored sprinkles, for sprinkling top surface
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 90 seconds. To the melted butter (allow it to cool slightly so you don't scramble the egg), add the egg, sugars, vanilla, and whisk to combine. Note regarding vanilla extract - clear, imitation vanilla extract helps provide classic Funfetti cake batter flavor in a nostalgic, classic, Americana birthday-cake kind of way. It's sold in clear bottles next to real vanilla extract, for a fraction of the cost. Real vanilla extract may be used, but it will darken the batter slightly and isn't quite as spot-on for flavor, but is acceptable.
- Add the flour, salt, and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix or the bars will be tough. Fold in white and semi-sweet chocolate chips (or a combination of your favorite kinds of chips) and ¼ cup (or more) sprinkles. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula or offset knife if necessary. Sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon additional sprinkles for a nice visual pop of color.
- Bake for 18 to 24 minutes, or until center is set and golden or until edges begin to slightly pull away from sides of pan, or a toothpick comes out clean; do not overbake. Allow blondies to cool completely in pan before slicing and serving, at least one hour. Blondies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To keep gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free flour blend, taking care that all other ingredients used are acceptable for your dietary needs.
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No-Bake Vanilla Cake Batter Chocolate Truffles – Cake batter in the middle and coated in chocolate for easy no-bake truffles, perfect for the holidays or to set out at parties any time
Chocolate Cake Batter Milkshake – I always wish there was more than just a little bit of batter on beaters to lick. Now I can have as much as I want
Coconut White Chocolate Chip Blondies – A dense, rich, almost fudge-like blondie that has notes of caramel, and incorporates coconut, white, and semi-sweet chocolate. Easy, fast, and ready in under 30 mintues
Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars with Pink Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting – I love snickerdoodle cookies, but bars are easier and faster to make than cookies. These bars take everything I like about snickerdoodle cookies, including chewy edges and soft centers, and roll them into a fast-to-make cookie bar
Chocolate Chip and Cherry Blondies – For the chocolate lovers, these blondies are part gooey chocolate chip cookie in bar form, with cherries included. Chocolate and cherries are a natural pairing, or try whatever seasonal fruit you have
Do you like Funfetti flavors? Sprinkles? Cake batter-flavored treats?
Who can say no to any of those things and I couldn’t resist surprising my little girl with these.